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Redshirting
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June 16, 2011, 11:43 PM
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A reader who plays a lot of basketball alerts me to the name of an 8th grader often at the gym where he plays: Mickey Mitchell, a 6`7" point guard who can do a 360 dunk. And he`s white. Here`s a highlight reel. I played on my elementary school`s basketball team in 8th grade. Our center was 6`2" and got an athletic scholarship to a private school. Mickey Mitchell would have beaten us playing 1 on 5.

He`s also the top quarterback prospect in the 8th grade. It will be interesting to see which route he chooses. How old is this 8th grader? He looks like a high school Homecoming King. Does he drive himself to elementary school? Back in 2002, I wrote an article giving the pros and cons of "redshirting" your little boy by holding him back for a second year of kindergarten so that he`ll be older as he goes through school. I still get emails from undecided parents about it, but I don`t have much new to add. Has anybody done a big multiple regression or natural experiment study of this? There`s a lot of interest out there.

It`s something of a market failure that there aren`t many direct ways to make money off of social science studies. There are a whole bunch of young parents who would pay, say, a $100 for some good advice on this topic, but there doesn`t exist any particular way for this market demand to fund a social science project.